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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas District 11

I would like to wish our District 11 Extension Team a Merry Christmas and a happy new year. As I read your making a difference reports and your outcome summaries, I am amazed at the great programs that you are providing your clientele each year. We certainly have the best district in the state but only because we continue to have the best agents in the state. As we prepare for a new year just around the corner, I encourage you to take some time to enjoy your family and all of what the holiday season is meant to be. If you are going to try to start shopping like me this week, be careful on the roads and as you travel to see family and friends. This has certainly been an eventful year for me and as I look back upon this year I am thankful for the many blessings my family and I have received. I am sure you can also reflect on your your year not only professionally but personally. Get some well deserved rest and come back ready to continue to Make a Difference in your counties.

The District office will be closed during the holiday break from Wednesday, December 23 through January 1st; we will resume regular business hours on January 4th, 2010. I know that many of your county offices will be open for some time during these days. If for some reason your office must be closed during the non-county holiday times, make sure that your clientele can reach you or a designated person if they need to. I will be available on my cell phone (361)543-7595.

District 11 Personnel news:

January 4th, 2010 we will have four new county Extension Agents start their new appointments. Virgina Smith ANR agent in Aransas County, J.D. Folbre ANR Agent in Karnes County, he will first step in Wilson County. Kara Metheney, ANR Agent in Colorado County, she will first step in Austin and Wharton Counties. I will meet with the Matagorda County Court this Morning to approve a the new 4-H agent , this person will not first step and be in Matagorda County on January 4th, 2010.

I will start to interview candidates for the open San Patricio County 4-H agent in January. Ms. Kelsey Hill will start her new role as Regional Cancer Awareness and prevention program assistant on January 4th, and be based out of the District office. Ms. Bethany Bowman FCS Agent in Calhoun County has resigned effective on January 4th. I wish Bethany well in her future and thank her for her service in Calhoun County.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

TExAS Monthly Reports

I have recently had a chance to review your reports on a more regular schedule. Many of you do a good job of submitting these reports in a timely and efficient matter. The reports are usually short to the point and provide relevance, response and results for the many tasks that have been scheduled by you during the program planning process. However, some of you do need to improve in reporting to the TExAS web based program. I would like to remind you that you are in control of your calendar and only you can make the adequate time it takes to report effectively. Some of the best county Extension agents in our district are not efficient reporters. Much of the great programming and response to our clientele’s needs is not documented each month.

As the new District Extension Administrator, it is my job to evaluate the Extension agents in the district each year. This process will be coming around shortly in January and February, as may be into March. It is extremely hard for me as your new supervisor to be aware of the many tasks that you have completed this year, if they are not adequately reported. The southern regional program directors also evaluate you on your ability to report on a timely and efficient matter. They provide me with input on your program successes and shortfalls. Our Director Dr. Ed Smith has been quoted “If it was not reported. It did not happen”. If you provide the best response and results in your county programming but do not take the time to successfully report to those accomplishments; how can administration provide you proper credit for your efforts? The documentation for evaluations in our performance appraisals is the TExAS system. I have been reviewing these reports in preparation for your performance reviews, if you know you have not adequately reported. It is imperative to have proper documentation available for our performance appraisals. This week you will be provided an email with a letter on what is expected for your scheduled progress reviews and or comprehensive performance reviews.

Making the Difference annual report and outcome summaries

Your counties annual report and your individual outcome summaries, and significant program successes summaries are due on Tuesday December 15th, many of your have already sent in your summaries. I continue to be amazed at the great programs and successes that our District 11 agents are accomplishing. Remember the main purpose for completing your outcome summaries is so you can interpret these results to your stakeholders. Don’t file your outcome summaries use them to get the word out about the great programs you are doing in your counties.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

CB-5 and Certificate of Expendetures

I want to emphasize that all reports are extremely important and are all tied somehow to the way a county Extension agent's gets their funding. The CB-5 is the report that tells me how much your county is providing toward your salary and the support that your county is providing toward your program. The CB-5 is a reflection of the many years of support and the great work that you all do. It is imperative that we have these reports in as soon as you can get your auditor to check and approve the report. Try to assist the auditor in compiling the information making it easier for them to approve. Ultimately they are responsible for approving the CB-5 with the seal of the county. The CB-5 is the contract with the county that they will support your position and your office with the financial commitment. When I fill positions in the your county the CB-5 becomes one of my most important documents as I need to know exactly how much the county is providing in order to manage my salary pool. We now have all the CB-5 for counties with a October to September fiscal year. We now need the forms from those counties that have January to December fiscal years. Those CB-5 are due in our office January 15th,2009.

The Certificate of Expenditures is the document that our administration requires that your auditor approves and documents the funds that were used during the past year. This document is also extremely important to know how the county supported our county programs. These documents are due in our office on January 29th, 2009.

Agricultural Increment Reports- The Ag increment reports are due on January 11th, 2009 in our District office. These reports are important due to the significance of agricultural production in your counties. Ag Agents are considered a very credible source because you are charged with compiling the best estimate of financial impact in your county each year. This document is used by many agencies in the state as well as financial institutions. For assistance please contact Dr. Larry Falconer.

Experience Works :

The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is funded under Title V of the Older Americans Act as well as state and local grants, enables us to help thousands of low-income individuals, age 55 and older, throughout the United States.

Through this program, seniors benefit from training, counseling, and community service assignments at faith-based and community organizations in their communities, prior to transitioning into the workforce.

Participants are placed at eligible host agencies (primarily at faith-based and community organizations) for which they are paid the minimum wage for an average of 20 hours per week. A host agency is either a private nonprofit organization (other than a political party) that is tax exempt under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue code of 1954, or a public agency operated by a unit of government.

This program may support your situation in your office if you need more assistance, for example assisting you support staff, answering the phone, filing etc. This may free up your support staff to do those things that done get done due to lack of time. If you are interested the web site is I will be visiting with a representative soon in how we can work together in some counties.

Agricultural Crop Reports:
Ag agents your weekly crop reports are due by each Monday at 9:00 am. In completing your reports you must also provide some comments in relation to the crop weather conditions. It is important that you do this so we can provide a summary of the reports each week. I am checking reports each week, please take time to complete this short report each Friday.

Performance Appraisals: This week you will be getting an email on scheduling your performance appraisals for 2009. As you request a date that I have available, please consider before you schedule the date that your can be ready with all of your information, reports, summaries etc... It is important that your don't waist your time and mine if your are not ready. I will reschedule the appraisal if you are not ready at the time of your scheduled appraisal.

District 11 4-H Food Show: Satuarday we hosted our annual food show in Victoria. There was a big turn out with majority of our counties represented in the food challange and the food show. Agents that provided leadership on the committee as well as Jodi McManus need to be commended for providing an excellent oppertunity for our young people.

District 11 Personnel news: Barbara Moretich, and I have been really busy trying to fill our vacant positions in our district. This month I will meet with three county courts to present candidates for approval to fill positions in Matagorda, Colorado and Karnes. I have also had the unique opportunity to transfer Mr. Chance Crossland from his 4-H appointment to the ANR Agent position in Calhoun County. Chance and the other four new agents will start in their new positions on January 4th, 2010. The 4-H agent position in San Patricio County has been announced internal. I am looking forward to working on this position next.